Skip to main content

COVID Message

The NWT is open to leisure travel. See information on COVID-19 travel guidelines

Itinerary: Three Days in Fantastic Fort Simpson

Fort Simpson, NWT

Itinerary: Three Days in Fantastic Fort Simpson

For a mix of nature, culture, adventure and relaxation, it's hard to beat the hub of the Dehcho region, fantastic Fort Simpson. Located at the confluence of the Mackenzie and Liard Rivers, this friendly and diverse community is an epicentre of Northern history, an incubator of Dene and Metis culture, and the gateway to stupendous Nahanni National Park Reserve. You could spend weeks getting to know this region, but if your time is limited, here's how to make the most of it:

Fort Simpson, NWT

Day One

Roll into Fort Simpson by road (a day's drive from the Alaska Highway) or fly here from Yellowknife.

Get oriented at the excellent Visitor Centre at the entrance to town, with a wealth of exhibits, maps, brochures, videos and friendly staff.

Tour the Mackenzie riverfront — the famed Edhaa National Historic Site, the cabin of legendary goldseeker Albert Faille, and structures that showcase the Metis and fur-trade history of the town, including McPherson House, Lafferty House and the Hudson Bay Company shed.

Try your hand at fishing on the banks of the Mackenzie, or go golfing at the lush Seven Spruces nine-hole course.

Bunk down at the Fort Simpson Territorial Park campground or at a local bed-and-breakfast or inn.

Fort Simpson

Day Two

Climb aboard a floatplane for the prettiest day of your life — a flightseeing tour of Nahanni National Park Reserve.

Soar up the great gorges of the Nahanni River's First, Second and Third canyons. Set down on the river and walk the portage trail for heart-stopping views of furious Sluicebox Rapids, 300-foot-high Virginia Falls and imperious Mason's Rock.

Re-board and take off for Lotus Flower Tower and other peaks in the Cirque of the Unclimbables — dramatic 9,000-foot spires embracing the Fairy Meadow, an idyllic alpine garden.

Then fly over Rabbitkettle Lake, home to Canada's largest Tufa Mound, and the Nahanni Plateau, featuring the Ram River Canyons.

Stop at pristine Little Doctor Lake for a relaxing visit to Nahanni Mountain Lodge before returning to Fort Simpson.

The church in Wrigley, NWT.

Day Three

Rent a car and head north on the wild and scenic Mackenzie Highway.

Cross the Mackenzie River on the MV Johnny Berens ferry. At Camsell Bend, you're into the mountains — the Mackenzie Range on the west side of the river and the Franklin Range on the east side.

Arrive in the idyllic log-cabin village of Wrigley, one of the most traditional Dene communities accessible by road.

After touring the village and strolling the riverbank, return to Fort Simpson – or set off in a canoe for an expedition down the Mackenzie!

Get your Fort Simpson adventure started by exploring the packages offered by operators here and then set out on an experience you'll never forget.

Get our Free Spectacular Guide

Is the Northwest Territories on your must-see list? Order or download our free Spectacular Guide to plan your trip of a lifetime.